U.K. judge orders denier to pay legal costs or face bankruptcy

Last month, Irving lost his lawsuit against Lipstadt and Penguin, whom Irving accused of ruining his career by labeling him a Holocaust denier. Ruling against Irving on April 11, Gray called him an anti-Semite, a Holocaust denier and a Hitler apologist who distorted historical data to suit his own ideological agenda.

Penguin lawyer Heather Rogers had initially asked for a down payment of $800,000, but Irving's lawyer, Adrian Davies, replied that even half that amount could bankrupt Irving, who is 62.

Rogers told the court that Penguin had already paid out more than $1.5 million to defense experts who testified at the three-month trial.

Irving, who has not yet obtained permission to appeal the judgment, has argued that defense experts and lawyers were paid too much.

Gray ordered Irving to pay the $250,000 by June 16 on the basis that Penguin Books was prepared to accept that figure for the time being.

The court was told that Irving had boasted to reporters that he had a "fighting fund" of more than $500,000 made up of contributions sent to him by supporters around the world.

After the hearing, Irving refused to say whether he could or would pay. He said the money in the fighting fund was in an offshore account.

Meanwhile, Penguin lawyer Kevin Bays said the publishing house is determined to recover its legal and research fees from Irving.

"On the one hand, he says he doesn't have any money. On the other hand, he's reported as saying he has 5,000 supporters around the world making donations," Bays said.

As a result of the judge's order last Friday, Bays added, "we'll find out if he has lots of supporters and money. If he doesn't pay, we'll have to enforce payment. The ultimate is bankruptcy. A trustee in bankruptcy would be appointed to assess any assets he's got. That would include his house."